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Women of Distinction Awards 2014

Six women to be honored at Women of Distinction Luncheon

(page 5 of 6)

Mary Genco

Woman of DistinctionMary Genco

Mary Genco parlayed a lucrative career in finance into many remarkable years of community service in Darien, transforming the town’s public schools along the way. Formerly a vice president at Morgan Stanley specializing in municipal finance projects, she left her profession to dedicate herself full-time to motherhood and volunteer work—starting at New Canaan Community Nursery School and then Ox Ridge School, where her children attended.

Mary joined the Council of Darien School Parents (CDSP) in the 1990s, when Darien Public Schools (DPS) were going through a period of dramatic change. She was instrumental in helping CDSP interpret the Board of Education budget, while introducing research and metrics to support CDSP’s goals and setting the standard for future CDSP budget representatives.

Mary didn’t stop there, turning her attention to Darien’s lackluster technology programs in public schools and in the community. She encouraged the Board of Education and Board of Finance to fund a comprehensive technology plan to equip DPS students for the digital age. She co-founded and served as volunteer executive director of the Darien Technology Foundation (now The Darien Foundation for Technology & Community), which has provided more than $3 million in private funds for technology and community capital projects in Darien.

“We all owe a debt of gratitude to Mary for the work she has done on behalf and in support of our schools. She forced us to challenge the long-held thinking in our community about appropriate funding levels for education, and helped to open our eyes to the limitless possibilities of technology in education,” says Susan Vogel, former co-chair of CDSP.

Adds Pam Dysenchuk, the Darien Foundation’s executive director: “Without Mary’s foresight, intelligence, hard work and perseverance, this foundation would never have been established.”

Mary also has served as an Allocation Panel Leader at the Community Fund of Darien, helping to shape donor funds to meet the needs of the Darien, Stamford and Norwalk communities. She is currently the treasurer and a member of the executive committee of the board. She also has been a long-term member and multi-year board member of the Darien League of Women Voters.

Fittingly, Mary also has given back to the business school that helped her get her professional start. She established the Reverend Patrick J. Sullivan S.J. Scholarship at the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University for underprivileged women pursuing a business career.